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Old 11-23-2012, 10:03 PM   #1
JJSWDW's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Chicago Area
Posts: 258

Thanksgiving at VWL

Just finishing up a great trip to WDW. Me, DW, DS16, DS8, and DS-6mos. It has been a great trip. We knew this trip would be a lot less intense because of the crowds and our 6 month old.

As always staying at VWL during the holidays is fantastic. There's feeling you get when walking through the lobby of the main building that's special and even more so when coming down the covered path to VWL. Decorations look great and are not over-the-top.

Had an old high school friend and his family come by to visit. Hadn't seen him in 12 years and we sat in the Carolwood Pacific room for a couple of hours catching up while sitting on the leather rocking chairs in front of the fireplace. Another nice feature of VWL is the great sitting areas around the buildings.

DS16 and I did the Segway tour through Fort Wilderness. It was great. We were the only ones signed up. Almost 2 hours driving the segways around. The guides, Ron and Forrest, were awesome too. It's very easy to get to FW by just hoping the FW bus and getting off at the 1500 loop. To return, the Outpost Yellow bus turns back into the Wilderness Lodge bus at the settlement.

Our 1BR was right off the elevators over looking the opening down to the lobby. Made it quick to get back to the room! The room was in great shape, can't think of any complaints.

We rented a full size crib from A Baby's Best Friend. The full size crib was a great move because it kept him on a normal schedule in a bed that was similar to his own. They dropped the crib off with Bell Services about 5:30 pm on our arrival way and the bellman brought it up. ABBF also texted me when they dropped it off.

In Guest Room internet was awful the first day. Right away in the morning of the second day, I called tech support. By that evening it was flawless. Best I've ever had at WDW! Worked great the rest of the week.

DW and I did get away for a few hours one night and went over to the Top of the World lounge. We had a great server, Luc. We wanted to support the establishment so we ordered several drinks and an appetizer while waiting for Wishes.

Other thoughts:

First WDW needs to review the desserts at all of the 1 table credit sit down restaurants. Only a couple had knock out desserts. I know everyone gets a free dessert with DDP but let's still put in some effort to not make them feel factory made.

We used TIW this trip and probably saved about 5% over DDP. However, once DS8 falls into the 9 to 12 range we'll probably keep doing TIW because he won't be taking advantage of the adult meals we'd be paying for on DDP. After that we may look at going back to DDP. Our TIW card had paid for itself earlier in the year when we were down here for marathon weekend.

This may be controversial but let's build a new Hollywood Studios. The layout makes no sense anymore. Let's execute on the original visions for it and take advantage of the great franchises that Disney has acquired. I'd like to see dedicated areas for:
- Lucasfilm (star wars, indiana jones, etc.)
- Pixar ( let's more Buzz from MK over here too, it's not really the future so it doesn't belong there)
- Muppets (time to go back and build the full muppet studio that was originally planned before Henson's death)
- Marvel (A comic book land could certainly rival Harry Potter)
- Disney ( maybe leave the classic disney stuff to fantasyland but hit on other disney films here)
You get the idea, each one of these should be a "land" unto itself

Thanksgiving dinner was whispering canyon cafe was disappointing. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything special for $40/pp. However, Kudos to the chef for working with the corn allergy for a person in our party.

When did some people get so rude? We had a table across from the ice cream stand in Asia at AK. My wife got up from her seat to wipe off the face of our baby. When she did this some lady swooped in and took her chair while the rest of us were sitting there. Now, depending on my mood I sometimes take these things head on or if I am feeling a little clever they become a social experiment. So it was the latter that day. We decided to see who would leave first. We kind of moved in front of them then continued eating our food without yielding our space, finally they left. Weird. It would've been different if they asked if we were almost done but there was no acknowledgement of the situation.

We did make it into the new fantasyland expansion on Thanksgiving night. Visually it was pretty nice. We rode the little mermaid ride. This is basically a modern version of the other "dark rides". For what it is, it is nice and the target demographic of princess fans may enjoy it. There was no wait when we rode it but the queue is very very long. Can't imagine waiting 90 minutes for it. The only flaw was that they hit a lot of the plot points and music numbers for the first 2/3s of the story but then it seemed like somewhere in the planning process they determined they were out of space in the ride and quickly ended it.

Overall once the boards are down for the mine train, it'll really enhance the appeal and dynamics of fantasyland.

Anyway, I may post more later but it was still a fantastic trip!
Joe and Lisa

Last edited by JJSWDW; 11-24-2012 at 09:10 AM. Reason: update
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:42 PM   #2
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Chellymouse's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Cuyahoga Falls Ohio
Posts: 2,546

Happy to hear you had a great trip. Yes, people in general have become more rude when visiting WDW. Can't believe that your DW seat was swiped almost literally from right under her! Sounds like you had a great trip!
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